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Pujol accepts to give explanations to the Catalan Parliament but he will do it after the 22nd of September

On Tuesday, as it was expected, the Catalan Parliament has approved to request that the former President of Catalonia, Jordi Pujol, provides the Chamber with further explanations about his family's fiscal fraud which he confessed to in late July. The request has been unanimously approved, including by the governing centre-right pro-Catalan State coalition CiU, which was led by Pujol for three decades. The former Catalan President has accepted to appear in front of the Parliament despite it not being "obligatory", as he noted down. However, he asked to do it after the 22nd of September "in order not to interfere" with the self-determination process and "the high political voltage events" of the coming days. The opposition parties supporting self-determination are angry with Pujol's delay and will ask for a parliamentary investigation committee to be launched.

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02 September 2014 08:27 PM

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ACN

Barcelona (ACN).- On Tuesday, as it was expected, the Catalan Parliament has approved to request that the former President of Catalonia, Jordi Pujol, provides the Chamber with further explanations about his family's fiscal fraud he confessed in late July. The request has been unanimously approved, including by the governing centre-right pro-Catalan State coalition CiU, which was led by Pujol for three decades. The former Catalan President has accepted to appear in front of the Parliament despite it not being "obligatory", as he noted down. However, he asked to do it after the 22nd of September "in order not to interfere" with the self-determination process and "the high political voltage events" of the coming days, such as the massive demonstration planned for Catalonia's National day (the 11th of September), the approval of the Law on Consultation Vote and the call for the self-determination vote. The opposition parties supporting self-determination are angry with Pujol's delay and will ask for a parliamentary investigation committee to be launched. The left-wing Catalan independence party ERC, the Catalan green socialist and post-communist coalition ICV-EUiA and the alternative left and radical independence party CUP will file a shared petition on Wednesday, although it will need the majority of the Catalan Parliament to go ahead. The People's Party (PP), which runs the Spanish Government, will also ask for an investigation committee to be launched. However, a few days ago, they said they wanted this committee to investigate all the Catalan Executive's public contracts between 1980 and 2003, during the 23 years the Government was chaired by Pujol. The populist and Spanish nationalist party Ciutadans (C's) will also ask for an investigation committee to be launched and accused the Spanish Government run by the PP and the Socialist Party PSOE of covering up Pujol for decades through "a silence pact". The Catalan Socialist Party (PSC) also said in the last moment that they will back the creation of a committee to carry out a parliamentary investigation.  The CiU criticised the rest of parties for not being able "to wait 3 weeks" to hear Pujol.


The former President of the Catalan Government, Jordi Pujol, who chaired the institution for 23 consecutive years between 1980 and 2003, has been formally requested to appear before the Catalan Parliament for the fiscal fraud he confessed to in late July. All the parliamentary groups have voted for such a request, with no exception. The vote had been scheduled for this Tuesday, the first day available after the parliamentary break of summer.

The request emphasised that the appearance should take place this very same week. However, the Catalan Parliament cannot oblige Pujol to testify and in fact other people have refused to honour appearance requests, such as the leader of the PP in Catalonia, Alícia Sánchez-Camacho, who was asked to provide explanations about the political espionage case which is specifically affecting the Pujol family. Sánchez-Camacho refused by saying she was not obliged to do it. This week, when she has been reminded about it, she insisted that she will not appear in front of the Catalan Parliament despite she closed a non-transparent deal with the political espionage agency.

An investigation committee will be requested by all the opposition groups

The ERC, ICV-EUiA, CUP, PP, C's and PSC all announced in the morning that if Pujol did not attend the Parliament or if the explanations provided were insufficient, they would launch an investigation committee. At the end of the day, in the evening, they all confirmed they would file request for an investigation committee to be launched since they consider Pujol's delay unacceptable. Furthermore, they all criticised the fact that Pujol now wanted to condition the political calendar.

In a letter sent on the same Tuesday to the President of the Catalan Parliament, Pujol announced that he accepted the request to talk to the Chamber "because of the high respect" he said he has for this institution. However, he stressed that he was not "obliged" to honour such a request and he mentioned that there are several precedents of people not appearing before the Catalan Parliament despite being  asked to do so, "without any punishment", he added.

Pujol does not want to interfere with the self-determination agenda

Secondly, Pujol said that he did not want to interfere with Catalonia's self-determination process. In order to have "the smallest possible impact" on the massive demonstration for Catalonia's independence of the 11th of September, the approval of the Law on Consultation Votes (scheduled for mid-September) and the call for the self-determination consultation vote. Therefore, he proposed to appear before the Catalan Parliament as early as the 22nd of September. According to him, this day will still be "sufficiently far away from another day with a very deep political weight", which is the 9th of November, the day when the self-determination vote should take place.

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  • The former Catalan President, Jordi Pujol, a few months ago in an interview (by R. Garrido)

  • The former Catalan President, Jordi Pujol, a few months ago in an interview (by R. Garrido)